DIGITAL FOOD SYSTEMS EVIDENCE CLEARING HOUSE
Food system component(s):
Food system activity/ies:
Type(s) of digital intervention:
“Ushauri” enables efficient two-way communication between farmers and extension services via voice messages. ”Ushauri” integrates two components : (1) automated 24/7 hotline for farmers, and (2) online platform for extension agents.
“Ushauri” enables efficient two-way communication between farmers and extension services via voice messages. ”Ushauri” integrates two components. The first component is an automated 24/7 hotline for farmers. The second component is an online platform for extension agents. Farmers access the hotline via regular phone calls and navigate an automated IVR menu that gives them access to pre-recorded advisory messages, adapted to local context. They use the number pad of their phone to select and listen to short audio messages about agricultural topics.
Besides listening to the existing advisory messages, farmers can record further questions through the hotline. Newly recorded questions immediately appear at the online dashboard for extension officers. Using a computer, extension officers listen to farmers´ questions, record answers, and send these answers back to the farmers via automated push-calls. Because the recorded answers are stored online, they can be sent multiple times, to address similar questions from different farmers. Lastly, advisors add keywords to each question. Over time, this allows analyzing and identifying emerging information needs in the farming community.
Estimated number of active users:
- At inception: 300
- At time of last report: 0
Evidence of impact
In pilot tests, farmers accessed agricultural information more frequently than would have been possible by direct farmer-advisor interactions. Extension agents experienced reduced workload, as Ushauri offers pre-recorded messages for farmers. Moreover, every answer to a farmer’s follow-up question was sent by extension agents to three farmers with the same question, on average. In consequence, farmers who used Ushauri adopted a higher number of new practices than non-users.